ON Thursday (March 8), Surrey RCMP’s Traffic Services and volunteers, ICBC and the Surrey Crime Prevention Society will be looking for drivers distracted by electronic devices during an enforcement campaign.
Every year, on average, 27 people are killed in distracted driving-related crashes in the Lower Mainland. Police are stepping up enforcement to reiterate the message that distracted driving will not be tolerated.
Surrey RCMP officers will be conducting enforcement throughout the city reminding drivers to leave their phones alone while operating a motor vehicle. Fines to those drivers caught holding an electronic device while operating a motor vehicle can be $368 plus 4 penalty points for a total of $543.
“Distracted driving is any activity that impacts a driver’s ability to focus on the road and is one of the top contributing factors in police-reported injury crashes in B.C,” says Karen Klein, local ICBC road safety coordinator. “Safer roads start with every driver making a conscious decision to drive smart and distraction-free. We can all do simple things like letting calls go to voicemail or programming your GPS before your journey.”
“We need to remember that with that driver’s licence comes a huge responsibility, and we can’t get complacent about the need to stay focused on the road,” says Sgt. Chad Greig. “If you absolutely need to read a text message or email, or re-program your GPS, or dial a phone number, find a safe spot to pull off the roadway and take care of it. When you’re finished, safely pull back into traffic and carry on your way. Our roads will be safer for it.”
Tips for drivers:
- No call or text is so important it’s worth risking your life, or the lives of others. Let calls go to voicemail and ignore your text messages while driving.
- Assign a designated texter. Ask your passengers to make or receive calls and texts for you.
- If you can’t take a break from your phone while driving, turn it off and put it in the trunk of your car to avoid the temptation.
- Make a ‘text stop’ at highway rest areas, some of which now provide free Wi-Fi.
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